Millions of people all over the world struggle with mental health conditions. If you are one of them, you certainly understand how difficult and debilitating these conditions can often be. Depending upon their severity, mental health issues keep you from being able to work and earn a steady income or enjoy many of life’s day-to-day activities as you otherwise would.
The good news is that if you find yourself in this situation, you may qualify for disability benefits for your condition. These benefits can be extremely helpful in relieving some of the financial stress you may feel and can give you space and time to focus on your health and enjoy life with those you love. Often, those who struggle with a mental health condition ask – how much might I receive in disability benefits for my particular condition? Let’s take a closer look at how the Social Security Administration makes these determinations.
Making A Disability Determination
In order to be approved for an award of disability benefits, an applicant must generally prove the existence of a medically disabling condition that has rendered the applicant unable to work for at least twelve months. Generally, the Social Security Administration considers mental health issues “disabilities” – although each applicant will have to prove his or her case through substantial medical evidence.
To determine if a condition may qualify as disabling for the purpose of awarding benefits, the Social Security Administration uses what is commonly known as its “Blue Book” to review a particular condition and its symptoms. Section 12 of that book deals with mental health disorders in particular. A variety of mental health disorders are specifically mentioned in the blue book, including:
- Anxiety disorders;
- Autism and related disorders;
- Personality disorders;
- Affective disorders;
- Substance addiction,
- And others.
Establishing the existence of a qualifying medical condition that renders an individual unable to work is essential for the purposes of seeking benefits. It is also important to understand that the Social Security Administration typically provides two types of disability benefits. The type of benefits you may be eligible to receive will depend upon various factors. The two types of benefits include:
- Social Security Disability Income (SSD): SSD benefits are for “insured” individuals who are unable to work because of a qualifying disabling condition. The Social Security Administration typically considers an individual to be “insured” if they worked a job for a sufficient length of time, through which they made regular payments into the Social Security System.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI disability benefits are also provided to individuals who have a qualifying disabling condition that renders them unable to work. Unlike SSD benefits, however, SSI benefits are not dependent upon the individual being “insured”. Instead, an award of these benefits is depending upon an applicant having income and resources below a certain threshold determined by the SSA.
Regardless of the type of benefit for which you ultimately qualify, it is important to understand that there will be legal limits on how much you can receive.
A Closer Look At How Benefits Are Calculated
Insofar as the actual amount of benefits you might receive, it is important to keep in mind that it is typically not the particular medical condition itself that will determine the amount of benefits awarded. Regardless of whether you have depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia, benefits will generally be calculated using the same method – and it will differ depending on a variety of factors including:
- The salary you had before your disability;
- The amount of money you have paid into the Social Security system;
- The severity of your condition and the degree to which it impacts your ability to work and earn an income;
- A number of other factors depend upon your unique circumstances.
Each year, the Social Security Administration determines a limit for the number of benefits that a disabled individual might receive. These limits are set after consideration of a variety of factors and change from year to year. In 2022 for example, the highest potential monthly SSD payment is $3345. Concerning SSI benefits, those payments are typically not dependent upon an individual’s work history. In 2022, the maximum monthly SSI amount is $421 for an essential person, $841 for an individual, and $1261 for a couple.
The Law Office Of Daniel Berger – Here For You
If you are struggling with difficult mental health issues, you should never feel alone. Many others have the same conditions, and who have successfully pursued the disability benefits they need and deserve. There is hope for a better and brighter chapter ahead, and at The Law Office of Daniel Berger, we’re here to help you get there. Our knowledgeable and experienced team of disability attorneys understands the law, and we’ll fight for the benefits you need and deserve. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.